Gameday Preview: Spurs vs Cavaliers - 11/23/13
Plenty has been going right for the San Antonio Spurs during the best start in franchise history, while things seemingly keep getting worse for the frustrated Cleveland Cavaliers.
San Antonio looks to extend its winning streak to 10 while beating visiting Cleveland for the eighth straight time Saturday night.
The defending Western Conference champion Spurs (11-1) have been on a roll since losing to Portland on Nov. 2, and they've won their last seven by an average of 15.6 points.
Tony Parker went 8 of 14 from the field and scored 11 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter as San Antonio pulled away for a 102-86 win over Memphis on Friday.
"We kept our composure and we didn't panic," Parker said. "We just run our stuff and make stops."
Coach Gregg Popovich was impressed with Parker's play, especially down the stretch. The point guard has scored 25 fourth-quarter points over the last two games.
"He made great decisions, got the ball moving and involved everybody," Popovich said. "He spread the floor for himself and did a really fine job."
Tim Duncan had only eight points, but Manu Ginobili had 15 off the bench as San Antonio's reserves outscored the Grizzlies bench 45-18.
The Spurs shot 53.2 percent and rank among the NBA leaders shooting 48.1 on the season.
"We played well in the first half and got a bit of a lead," Duncan said. "They made a run as we expect everybody to do. This is the NBA. It's how it works. We kept our composure, made some plays at the right time and just gave ourselves a cushion again."
San Antonio hasn't lost to Cleveland since March 8, 2010, and has won the last four home matchups with the Cavaliers, who are coming off their fifth defeat in six contests.
Cleveland (4-9) squandered a 12-point lead with 4:41 remaining Friday and fell to New Orleans 104-100. Kyrie Irving scored a game-high 22 points, while Jarrett Jack added 19 off the bench on 9 of 13 from the field.
"It's a tough loss, especially when you feel like you had control most of the game," coach Mike Brown said. "But it's a growing, learning experience for a young group."
Irving drove and attempted a potential tying layup with 23 seconds remaining but missed, then removed his face guard protecting his broken nose in frustration after believing he was fouled.
The disappointing loss came despite the team shooting a season-best 53.2 percent, in part because of the team's turnovers. Cleveland also was forced to start undrafted rookie guard Matthew Dellavedova in place of C.J. Miles, who also won't play Saturday because of a right calf strain.
"Where the game was lost was 20 turnovers," Brown said. "On the road, you have 20 turnovers for 21 points, that's tough."
No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett was healthy and active Friday but did not play. He is 5 of 37 (13.5 percent) from the field and has totaled 13 points in 10 games.
Irving has averaged 12.7 points while shooting 31.3 percent in three career games against the Spurs.
Duncan had 30 points and 12 rebounds to help San Antonio beat Cleveland 119-113 in the most recent meeting March 16.
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